Worrisome Developments in North Waziristan

Daily Times, July 29, 2006
Militants taking over check-posts
Staff Report

PESHAWAR: The Taliban have taken over military check posts in North Waziristan, BBC Radio reporter Dilawar Khan Wazir said in his ‘Miranshah Diary’ on Friday.

Wazir said that more than a dozen check posts monitoring the highway between Kajhori and Miranshah earlier had been abandoned and that he had seen the Taliban patrolling the highway between Mir Ali and Miranshah in twin cabin pick-ups. “They were carrying automatic rifles and in some cases, rocket launchers. Militants now stand guard at the check points previously controlled by army soldiers,” he said.

Wazir warned that “North Waziristan was being taken over by the Taliban”. “The movements of the tribal jirga members have also been restricted and it is difficult for them to meet friends or family,” he added. Wazir reported that authorities in North Waziristan had stopped officials, tribal elders and jirga members from speaking to the media. “Tribal elder Malik Qadir Khan said the administration had asked the jirga members not to speak to the media,” Wazir said.

The tribal journalist is the first to visit the area after local militants agreed to extend the month-long ceasefire till August 25.

“We have placed a complete ban on journalists,” Wazir quoted senior administration official Iqbal Khattak in Miranshah as saying. Wazir said he was not allowed into the government building where the administration was holding meetings with the jirga. “We have orders from senior officials to keep journalists away,” Wazir quoted Khattak as saying.

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